Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yes, My Love, I Can Hear You Knockin'

1 Florida
2 Texas
3 Southern Cal
4 Oklahoma
5 Alabama
6 Virginia Tech
8 Ohio State
9 California
10 Georgia
11 Iowa
12 Clemson
13 TCU
14 Oklahoma State
15 Penn State
16 Brigham Young
17 Georgia Tech
18 Mississippi
19 Oregon
20 Illinois
21 Texas Tech
22 Boise State
23 Arkansas
24 Notre Dame
25 Rutgers

A few thoughts on my rationale, such as it is:
  • I was tempted to go with USC at #2. At one point, I thought that this could be a down year for them (meaning two losses) because of a true freshman under center. Now that I'm thinking that Aaron Corp will be fine for the season, I'm very high on the Trojans. For one thing, it's dumb to ever not be high on them. For another, if there's any coach whom I trust to handle the loss of eight starters on defense, it's Pete Carroll...and his hydra of five-star badasses. And at some point, they have to end this habit of losing to mid-table Pac ten teams, don't they?
  • I don't love Alabama at #5 because of the offensive line, but they seem a little more balanced than Virginia Tech (there is no Julio Jones on the Hokies' roster) and they were so much better than LSU last year that I can't put the Tigers ahead just yet.
  • I like Cal over Oregon in the Pac Ten because they just strike me as a more balanced team. How exactly did SI pick the Ducks as a team to watch when they lost their head coach, as well as 13 of 22 starters. I guess that Jeremiah Masoli has magical powers that will allow him to overcome a defense that returns only five starters from a unit that allowed a mere 390 yards per game last year. So no, I'm not high on the Ducks. I am, however, intrigued by a Cal team that returns 15 starters from the best defense of the Tedford era. A Pac Ten team that plays defense and isn't named "USC?" Color me fascinated.
  • I've already explained my reasoning on Iowa; the reasoning for Clemson is much the same. They have 15 starters coming back overall, eight on a defense that allowed only 300 yards per game. This vote is not a vote in favor of Dabo Swinney. Rather, it's a vote in favor of the recruits that Tommy Bowden left, combined with a year one boost for a player's coach. This year will be the high-point of the Swinney era, but the trip to the title game should be fun.
  • Could someone explain to me why Texas Tech isn't ranked? Does anyone really think that Mike Leach is going to struggle moving the ball with new faces on offense? What, the Raiders are going to average 500 yards per game instead of 530? They averaged 496 yards per game in 2005 when they returned four starters. They averaged 530 yards per game when they returned five starters in 2007. Oklahoma State is preseason #9 and Oregon is preseason #16; can someone set forth a rationale for why either of these teams would be ahead of the Red Raiders?


Ryno said...

Suprised to see you're a little down on GA Tech. The loss of many prominent defenders dropped them in your rankings?

Jesse said...

This isn't Michael's personal Top25, but he is down on GT yet uses the returning starters to justify Clemson...ironic much? Either way, this poll is the combined poll that averages a bunch of bloggers views on who the top 25 should be. And, um, TT is ranked...look at 21.

No way is ugag the tenth best team in the country. I don't think Cal is a top ten team either, but they are close. Clemson is not better than GT and again they are completely overrated. And ND and Rutgers need to just remove themselves. Honestly, someone thinks that ND can compete with any of the other teams listed here? Haha, that's funny.

Basically this is a crap poll.

Jesse said...

Wait, nvm. I thought it was CBS's final BlogPoll. My apologies for the above comments about this not being yours.

So, let me get this straight, Clemson is returning 15 starters, 8 from a defense that only allowed 297 yds/g, are recruits from a different coach with one year of experience under the new guy, lost the best QB they have had in the last 5 years, lost their leading WR, and they are 12th and going to the ACC title game. Meanwhile GT is returning 19 starters, 9 on defense, the entire offense, are players recruited from a different coach with one year under the new guy (who is a much better coach), and they are 17th. Yeah, that makes sense, especially given that not only did we beat them last year, but also that they had a better team. The players that GT have are mostly all from Gaileys days, recruited for a pro system and they still performed then, so they aren't simply the byproduct of the current system if that's your angle.

Which leads me to ugay and the others. Seriously, they lost Stafford, Moreno, Massaquai, and a few starters from the defensive side. You honestly think that Cox is and the other replacements make this team the 10th best team in the country? They have talented players no doubt, but they are not better so obviously more talented than say the guys on GT, Penn St., or even Ohio St.

And ND?! What were you thinking with this one? The only excuse for even considering them is the weak schedule and that is by no means a reason to put a team in the top 25. They could not compete with any other team listed, much less win against them. You think they could beat Rutgers or UNC or Miami or Cincinnati? Are you saying that you honestly believe that ND is better than Utah?

Clearly I am a GT guy; I've made no attempts at hiding that, but I also don't think they are a top ten team. I'm an ACC guy, but I know full well that it's not the best conference for powerhouse football. I try to be objective as possible and do some cursory fact checking when discussing things such as this. I would think you would be more objective, or make some attempt at going back and watching some games (which you have admitted not doing in the past) and put a little more thought into things like this. I know you are going to bias favorably toward Michigan and the Big Eleven as well as ugag and the SEC, and that's fine, but when things call for objectivity, having followed you for quite a while, I would have thought a little more of that would be evident when it comes to things like this.

Michael said...


1. When you refer to UGA as "ugay," you sound like an idiot.

2. Why is it so hard for you to understand that I think that Tech is an 8-4 team this year? G-d for fuckin' bid that I think that they're not that talented because Gailey's recruiting classes weren't that good. And heaven help me for thinking that Tech isn't exactly used to having and then meeting significant preseason expectations, or that opponents might defend them better this year, or that they can't throw the ball, or that a QB injury could be a significant problem, or that they might suffer in year two after Tenuta, or that they were an up-and-down team last year. And how can it be that I'm biased against Tech when I repeatedly said nice things about them last year. I just see them as one of those teams (like Ole Miss, Oregon, and Oklahoma State) that get built up before the season and then disappoint. Deal with it.

2a. I just looked at Dr. Saturday's poll and he has Tech lower than I do, so maybe he's also hopelessly biased. I guess that longstanding Southern Miss-GaTech beef clouded his judgment.

2b. What's the difference between Clemson and Tech? Talent. Bowden was a mediocre gameday coach, but he was a very good recruiter. I think they underachieved badly last year and will be much better this year. I also like Kevin Steele.

3. Yes, I have a raging Big Ten bias when I put the defending champions at #15 when most have them in the top ten.

4. Notre Dame's roster is extremely talented and they are now all upperclassmen. You also may be familiar with their defensive coordinator. What's so crazy about putting them at the end of the top 25? Oh, it must be the bias in favor of Notre Dame for which Michigan fans are so noted.

Ed said...


It is pretty far-fetched that ND could beat NC - especially after last year's five-point blowout, in which ND fumbled inside NC's 10 yard-line in the final seconds of the game.

Oh, and ND outgained NC by a mere 150 yards in that game - another testament to their massive inferiority.

Well played.

Michael said...


Jesse said...

It's not where you have GT in your poll, but where and why you have other teams in relation. And it has nothing to do with you thinking GT is going to be an 8-4 team, though I disagree with that. Not once have I complained about where GT falls. I have seen them all over the place from 11-20 and I personally think they should fall somewhere in the first half of that range.

My issue is that you are placing teams GT beat ahead of them who have lost extremely key pieces and then make claims that GT has less talent, when that isn't the case at all. Gailey's teams always competed, and there were many losses that where caused by his bland prevent defense whenever he got a lead and ended up letting games get away from him. The players on the field have always been talented, and besides, that's somewhat subjective that can't accurately be measured just by looking at the W-L column. So by what standard can you possibly submit that Clemson has better talent than GT? Dabo was coaching when we beat them last year, so it has nothing to do with Bowden. GT has more talent and better players at every position with the possible exception of the DL.

All those things you mention in your second pont are true for just about every single team in college football. They are not something that is singular to GT. And please stop using that weak argument that teams will be better prepared than they were last year to defend Paul Johnson's offense just because they all have seen it. Johnson has been running the same offense for almost 25 years now, how much more film do they need to prepare? The system is the same, just the players names have changed. Even if you want to say his days at GA Southern and Hawai'i are irrelevent, then you still have plenty of years worth of data from his most recent time at Navy.

As for the rest, my comments regarding biases wasn't meant as an attack or reasoning for your placement of teams. It just happened to be in my current train of thought and I was thinking of my own bias in general, so I put it in there. Reading it, I can see how it could be misconstrued so I apologize for that. I don't think that your admitted fandom of UGAg* and Michigan are the cause of your picks, I just think we all have a little bias in us and I just wanted to note that.

*My play on UGA, be it in the form of UGAy, UGAg, UGA(sic), etc., is nothing more than harmless poking between two long standing rivals. It's no different than when a UGA fan call a GT fan a nerd. It's harmless and not intended maliciously. So I see no need for the pointless 'idiot' remark, though I assume it's in response to my bias comments, so w/e.

As for ND, I don't think they should be in the top 25, maybe close to it, but not in it. So maybe UNC isn't the best example, especially considering how they have lost two OL and their best WR. But Ed, you're attempting to make it sound like I said ND is the worst team in college football, which isn't what I was getting at. ND didn't get a single first down when playing USC until I believe the third quarter and had didn't get into positive total net yards until the fourth. Whether you want to put that on the players or the coaches doesn't matter, it's plain bad all around. I don't think they deserve a top 25 spot based purely on the schedule and shouldn't be there until they prove they aren't the craptastic team they were last year.

So, again, I apologize for some of my comments coming across as a personal attack as that was not my intent.